Located in the Southern Laos, Champasak was once the Kingdom of an independent Lao state, Champasak. After being abolished in 1945, nowadays Champasak Province is well-known for a series of Khmer ruins and becomes an out-standing attraction to tourists in Laos.
Champasak is a province in southwestern Laos, located near the borders with Thailand and Cambodia. It is divided into 5 areas: Pakse, Bolaven Plateau, Champasak and Si Phan Don. Champasak has diversify resources such as: forest, waterfall, plateau, etc. The soil of Champasak is suitable for developing agriculture so it is one of the most important area producing rice in Laos. This province has quickly became an important area as well as famous destination in Laos.
From 10th to 13th century, Champasak belonged to Khmer Empire, then it was under the control of King Fa Ngum, Lan Xang Kingdom from 15th to 17th century.
In 1707, Champasak became one of three independent kingdom in Laos that capital is Pakse. The capital was set up by French colonials in 1905 as an administrative outpost.
Top attraction in Champasak:
- Wat Phu: Located in Champasak, a bizarre town featuring appealing French architecture, Wat Phu is one of the most symbolic sacred mountain temples in Southern Laos. Wat Phu, also called Wat Phou or Vat Phu, belongs to a Khmer temple complex at Phou Khao mount overlooking the plains towards Mekong River. Dating from the 11th to 13th centuries, Wat Phu initially dedicated to Shiva God of the Hindu Trimurti. Then it was transformed into a Buddhist cloister which is still a worshipful place for local Buddhists. The unique structures of the Wat Phu are spread over seven terraces on three levels, representing one of the largest archaeological sites in Laos.
The Vat Phou
- Si Phan Don: This area not only has a beautiful scenery but also attracts many tourists due to the unique location. Si Phan Don is in a section of Mekong River, which is 14km long in Parkse, Champasak province with 4,000 islands. It is a best place for someone who like to be alone with the nature and explore their limits because it has almost no convenient and luxurious service. The image of buffaloes grazing the grass and fishing boats floating on the river is look like Vietnam villages. Si Phan Don island is famous for being the habitat of Irawaddy dolphins. Many tourists come to this island to watch this rare animal so you should not traveling to Si Phan Don without seeing the dolphins here
- Bolaven Plateau: Bolaven Plateau is located in the southern highland of Laos. This area is famous for coffee and beautiful waterfalls. Coming to this Bolaven Plateau, tourists will be attracted by traditional houses with walls and roofs made of dried grass and leaves. Many foreign tourists was impressed by majestic beauty and fresh air, making people relax from the first time coming. This plateau is located at the bottom of the crumbling volcanic of northeast Champasak, near Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam border. At the height of 1000 m - 1,300 m, this area has a cool climate and high rainfall. Bolaven Plateau also has some upstream of many rivers that created nearly 10 majestic waterfalls. Tok Nam Tok Katamtok with 100 in height, is the highest waterfall not only in this area but also in Laos.
Culture in Champasak
Buddhism plays an important role in the belief and life of Lao so the major festivals of a year are associated with a religious tradition such as: the February Wat Phou festival, Pha Veat festival In March, Pi Mai festival in April, Bang Phai festival in May, Khao Phan Sa festival in June, October boat racing festival, etc. Every morning, mendicant monks walk along the streets. The pagodas have ancient architecture, brilliant golden color. Lao cremated the dead bodies, then took bones and ash into small towers (called “wats”) placed around the temple. Hundreds of wats like that become the fence of the temple. The design of the wats is diversified with many different colors and sizes.
Champasak has a tropical climate but cooler than other places in Laos, the average temperature is about 26.9°C. The temperature is highest in April, around 29.7°C and the lowest temperature is about 24°C on January. The rain season begins on May and ends on September with the highest amount of rainfall is July.
Popular transportation in Champasak
- You can go to Laos by passenger cars, motorbikes or booking flights. However, if you intend to book a plane ticket, remember to book before 1-2 months in order to have the opportunity to receive cheap airline tickets.
- For the transportation in city:
- Tuk tuk: the most popular transportation in Laos is tuk tuk. This is a 4-wheel vehicle with a cabin, each one can carry about 12 people and easy to catch on the street.
- Bus: Buses are considered quite modern and convenient, it is the second preferred transportation after tuk tuk in Laos. The ticket costs about US $6/person, suitable for saving money
There are some tips that you should notice when visiting Champasak:
- Preparing umbrellas, hats and sunscreen when traveling
- Checking weather forecasts before trips and traveling to tourist destinations.
- Should bring personal items such as combs, brushes, shampoo, etc. because there are some hotels that do not serve as usual.
- Do not leave money or precious jewelry in the room when leaving the hotel.
- Do not bring valuables with people when going to crowded places